Executive Director
The Harbour
Location: Chicagoland area
Job Information:


The Harbour provides emergency housing and services to young women experiencing homelessness in order to promote safety, stability, and personal growth with the goal of empowering these women to be self-sufficient. The Harbour administers three core housing programs, each specifically addressing the unique needs of the women in our care, including parenting women and their children.

The Harbour’s core programs include:

  • Harbour 24/7
    24/7 Emergency Shelter and Crisis Services
  • Harbour NOW
    Youth in Transition and Successful Teens/Effective Parents
  • Harbour CARE
    Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

This is a special moment for The Harbour. We are situated in a position of fiscal strength we have not seen in the past 20 years and there are plans of expansion on the horizon. Incoming leadership will oversee the execution of development projects including a drop-in center and a house for victims of trafficking that will significantly expand our organizational capabilities and allow us to better serve communities.

A deep commitment to our work and employees has allowed The Harbour to assemble a team of dedicated professionals who have made our organization their long-time workplace. In addition to many serving lengthy and rewarding tenures at The Harbour, our employees emphasize that the atmosphere of collegiality and shared purpose has made a lasting impact on their lives. The Harbour has a track record of recruiting and training talented staff and providing opportunities for growth throughout employee’s careers.

The Board of Directors, consisting of 11 members presently, is a principally important component of The Harbour. Our organization collaborates closely with and deeply values the input of our Board, and our strategic plan outlines the continued growth of its membership.

We are in search of an Executive Director who can serve as a dynamic leader to carry forward The Harbour’s mission and execute on the organization’s strategic plan.

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The Executive Director will serve as the Harbour’s top staff person and provide the vision and strategic direction for the organization. Through working effectively with the Board of Directors and the organization’s programmatic staff, the Executive Director will manage the organization’s leaders and functions.

The Harbour seeks a new Executive Director whose role will be to:

  • Lead the organization’s talented and dedicated staff of more than 50 people, working with the Board of Directors and external partners, in a manner that is dynamic and entrepreneurial
  • Serve as the principal representative of The Harbour to all stakeholders, including the Board, staff, donors, the media, the government, and the general public
  • Supervise the organization’s leadership and operations, including program services, development and grants, finance, and other general administration
  • Ensure that our $2.3 million annual operating budget is managed by achieving revenue goals through private fundraising and agency grants and managing expenses effectively
  • Successfully raise the remaining $400K of capital in order to break ground in June 2021 on the new $1.5 million shelter


Reporting: The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. All other staff report directly or indirectly to the Executive Director.


  • Provides vision and strategic insight to the Board to fulfill organizational mission
  • Collaborates with the Board in its regular strategic planning process and annual review
  • Directs priorities for program activities consistent with the strategic plan
  • Remains informed about issues, trends, and opportunities related to our mission and identifies new opportunities to serve youth experiencing homelessness


  • Develops regulatory compliant, effective, and efficient organizational processes and structures
  • Attracts and retains talent through establishing compensation policies consistent with competitive market standards and the philosophy of the Board
  • Provides fiscal oversight for the Harbour’s investments, budgets, and financial reporting
  • Ensures all staff meet qualifications to administer human services as well as organizational adherence to all local, state, and federal requirements

Program Activities

  • Oversees current programmatic efforts while providing guidance on the development of new programs and mission-focused work
  • Collaborates with outside agencies or systems such as school districts, townships, and other social service entities to further the Harbour’s mission
  • Convenes and leads staff in discussions and trainings regarding strategic, operational, and tactical issues


  • Leads and supports development staff accountable for fundraising activities
  • Cultivates a robust pipeline of private and agency donors while developing new revenue sources

Board Responsibilities

  • Attends Board meetings
  • Provides regular updates to the Board on operations, development, and progress toward strategic objectives
  • Works with Board members to determine the charter and membership of Board committees, as well as to recruit new Board members
  • Emphasize the Board’s role as a governing and fundraising entity


Required Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, Human Services, Business, or Health Administration
  • Meets DCFS Regulations for the Executive Director of a Licensed Child Welfare Agency
  • Minimum of 10 years’ work experience, including a minimum of 3 years in a management role at a mission-driven organization with revenue of approximately $2M or higher
  • Possesses sufficient expertise on issues relevant to housing and case management services to homeless youth to make well-informed decisions and command the confidence and respect of stakeholders necessary to serve as the leader of the organization
  • Track record of fundraising from individual donors, private trusts, and corporations (capital campaign experience a plus)
  • Management of financials including budgets, forecasts, cash flow, balance sheets, assets, liabilities, etc.
  • Experience in consensus-building and leading high-performing teams
  • Strong interpersonal communications, written and verbal communication and networking skills

Additional Preferred Experience:

  • Human services (including local, state, and federal government agencies)
  • Knowledge of the developmental and psychosocial needs of adolescents
  • Grant writing and development experience related to human services
  • Proven strategic planning capabilities

Classification: This is an exempt position

Salary: $120K-$135K. Benefits include health insurance, 403b, PTO